Rocking Out to Shelter Homeless
Published: October 30, 2013 (Issue # 1784)
“Hello! Do you like sleeping under a bridge? I don’t think anybody does, especially in wintertime,” says St. Petersburg rock musician Boris Grebenshchikov in a video address to promote Nochlezhka Fest, a charity concert for St. Petersburg’s largest shelter for homeless people, scheduled to take place at A2 club on Nov. 2.
Grebenshchikov, best known as the founder of the veteran Russian rock band Akvarium, will headline the concert, which will also feature Nogu Svelo!, Zorge and Jenia Lubich.
The concert to support the Nochlezhka shelter, located at 112B Borovaya Ulitsa in central St. Petersburg, is held ahead of the start of the coldest months of the year, which are especially challenging for those without homes.
According to Nochlezhka, 1,042 homeless people died in St. Petersburg between Nov. 2012 and March 2013, while hundreds lost arms or legs due to cold-related injuries. The charity pointed out that this was official information only and that the real numbers were potentially higher.
The shelter can accommodate up to 52 people, including 12 women and 40 men, who can spend from several weeks to several years there depending on the person’s specific situation. A total of 221 people received food and shelter from Nochlezhka in 2012.
Each ruble paid by concertgoers will go directly to the shelter, with the musicians and the venue taking no fee, Nochlezhka said. The cheapest ticket to the event, costing 800 rubles ($25), will pay for a three-day stay of a homeless person in the shelter. Premium (“VIP”) tickets costing 1,400, 1,800 and 2,200 rubles ($44, $56.60 and $69) and will pay for six, seven and nine days, respectively.
The line-up also includes Zorge, an art-rock band formed by Yevgeny Fyodorov, who was involved with Nochlezhka and has taken part in benefit concerts for the charity both with Zorge and his previous band Tequilajzzz.
Singer and songwriter Jenia Lubich will participate in Nochlezhka Fest for the first time as well as Nogu Svelo!, the band that stemmed from the underground rock scene in Moscow in the late 1980s.
“I believe we should draw attention to such things, we just can’t turn our back on such issues,” Lubich told The St. Petersburg Times ahead of the event.
“When people find themselves with no home, it means that there are no relations, friends or acquaintances left who can give refuge to a person in such a situation. For many, Nochlezhka is their last hope.”
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